Myopia, aka near-sightedness, is a condition where people have trouble seeing objects at a distance. While it once only affected 25% of the population, it's been on the rise since 1970 and now impacts the vision of roughly 42% of people. Since myopia can progress throughout childhood and cause cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life, it's smart to do whatever you can to reduce your children's risk of myopia before they develop it.
Know your genes
While making alterations to a child's lifestyle could help avoid myopia, there's nothing to be done about the genetic component of the eye condition. Children with near-sighted parents are more likely to develop myopia than other children. Your child's ethnicity may also play a role, as roughly 80% of the population of Asia suffers from myopia. This could mean that children of Asian descent are more likely to develop this condition.
The benefits of eating right are two-fold. Not only does eating a nutritious, balanced diet promote good eye health, but it can also help your child avoid obesity and diabetes, which comes with its own set of eye problems. While leading a busy lifestyle may not always be conducive to a home-cooked meal every night of the week, getting in the following foods whenever possible may help your child to avoid myopia or slow its progression if they already have it:
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy greens
- Oily fish.
With new technological advances happening all the time, today's children are more likely to spend their free time on an electronic device than they are playing outside with their friends. Since the outdoor play has been shown to decrease a child's risk of myopia, encourage your children to play out for an hour or two on lovely days.